A reflecting nebula in the constellation Orion NGC 1999 shows a black cloud near its center. SETI’s chief scientist, Seth Shostak, thinks suggests these should be studied in the search for extraterrestrial life.

This is called a "Bok globule," named after late astronomer Bart Bok. It’s a cold cloud of gas, molecules and cosmic dust, so dense it blocks all of the light behind it.
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There’s an old fashioned ‘UFO flap’ going on at present. I don’t think that it’s because of new methods of communication like YouTube and the tendency of the internet to amplify provocative claims. There isn’t really any online hysteria about it, at least not yet. In fact, the community of interested parties is quite calm so maybe this time the crazies and the hoaxers will look in other directions.read more

UPDATE 12/18/12: Internet hucksters have been using this journal entry to claim that I think that there will be a UFO landing on December 21. This is absolutely not my intent. Sure,  it could happen, but I’m not predicting anything here. I am simply speculating and, no, I have absolutely no idea whether or not it will ever happen, let alone on any specific date.
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Whitley Strieber describes to Timothy Hogan in detail what happened to him in the early morning of July 12. As happened many years ago, he heard a cry which was filled with meaning. Instead of running away as he did years ago, he opened himself to the experience, and this time the meaning was entirely different, and leads to perhaps the most extraordinary and illuminating discussion of gnosis and the power of meditation that has ever appeared here.
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